Preface. In a an earlier piece, I pointed out some very basic propositions: (1) at least through 1992, the United States supported the very terrorist elements it now says destroyed the Pentagon and World Trade Center, going so far as to give the Taliban $43 million for drug control efforts this very year [see footnote 1]; (2) an agenda is in place to blame Clinton (and the Democrats) rather than admit that significant failures are the responsibility of right-leaning groups, notably Republicans, corporations and the national intelligence and law-enforcement services; and (3) the citizenry has been stampeded into such unwise steps as suspending civil liberties even before lingering questions about the source of the attack have been answered. In the short time since then, the atmosphere has become even more abjectly lunatic, with intelligent people absolutely suspending rational faculties. The press has even begun to censor stories adverse to Bush, apparently to protect a democracy too fragile to permit debate [see footnote 2]. In the ironies of this era, it was left to a proud Nixonite, William Safire, to sound a note of sanity: "A chagrined Justice Department and C.I.A. - which neglected to use present authority to work closely with immigration and customs officials - now cover up past misfeasance with demands for more intrusive police powers to eavesdrop on and detain suspects. ...Suicide hijackers and bombers do not pose what is coolly called an existential threat to - that is, a danger to the very existence of - the United States." 
From the violence of the disapprobation applied to those who don't want to give Bush a blank check, one would think there is significant dissent about the need to punish the terrorists or to prevent further episodes of terrorism. There is not. Instead, the right wings of both the Republican and Democratic parties seem to be ransacking the landscape for peaceniks to accuse of treason. People demanding the commission of violence against terrorists are taunted by people who want even more violence to be done; true conscientious objectors are rare. Here and there, a few eyes are starting to unglaze, as people start to remember that what is meant by "going after so-and-so" means quite probably killing him and those human beings that happen to be within 50 yards of him and that "invading such-and-such a country" probably means tens of thousands of civilian deaths as well as casualties and deaths among American troops. At no time since Nixon- and probably not since McCarthy-- have the foundations of Constitutional law been at greater risk. The risk is so great because Americans appear to believe that one can have physical safety only at the price of sacrificing civil liberties. At this writing, in the wake of public approval of his competent handling of the disaster, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is attempting to grasp a third mayoral term by means of questionable legality.
The speech. The media have set new limits on what it will tolerate from Mr. Bush "for the sake of the country." In his speech to the Joint Session of Congress, Bush did not inform the American people of troop movements that he had made, nor of liberties which the Congress at his urging had rescinded or would soon consider rescinding. He did not tell them what the objectives of the "crusade" (for such he had called it) were, nor of the sacrifices that would be expected. He told them what they wanted to hear: that Americans are good people and would have no duties in this battle but live out their values. The media then buried him with laurel crowns, a task made easy by the actual stature of the man. Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan actually called it a "God-touched moment and a God-touched speech" . One Internet cynic, remembering a Noonan column on the Elian Gonzales case, snickered that all that was missing from Noonan's tribute were the sacred dolphins that had guided Bush to his bunny hole in Nebraska.
According to one take on the speech, Bush had been born again-- this time as an FDR rather than as a Reagan-- his sins washed away in the blood of the secretaries and the clerks and the firemen . It was left to Nicholas von Hoffman to contrast the behavior of Bush with that of the real FDR. For security reasons, so we were told, a shaky Bush vanished down a rabbit hole at Nebraska Strategic Air Command the day of the World Trade Center attack. Yet when an assassination attempt launched against president-elect Franklin Roosevelt instead gravely wounded Chicago mayor Anton Cermak, FDR-who could not even walk unaided- drew Cermak into his limousine and held him en route to the hospital, where Cermak later died .
As for Bush's speech, it was Trent Lott rather than the sycophants in the media, who made the remark that genuinely capsulated the moment. In a remark sure to chill the blood of those who remember the depredations of the one-party states of the last century, Lott announced after the Bush speech that "There is no opposition party". The corporate right, being no fools, understood the import of the speech very well. The next day, they sold shares as quickly as possible [see footnote 3]. The editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal urged rededication to the agenda of capital gains tax cuts, the assault on Social Security and intensified culture wars, even as lobbyists worked the halls of Congress, demanding government bailouts of airlines and shareholders [see footnote 4]. No such bailouts were proposed for the families of those injured, killed, made homeless or unceremoniously laid off. It is difficult to say which is more ghoulish: the looting in the mall beneath the World Trade Center  or the looting above-ground in the Capitol. A number of Democrats, saying that silencing dissent is for the good of the country, publicly renounced their right to criticize the Administration. Some Democrats even began labeling as enemies those who demurred on the wisdom of the policies being adopted. One would have thought they would have learned from having been at the receiving end of a half century-long campaign to designate Democrats as enemies of the state. Using the tactics of scapegoating merely legitimates them for use against oneself.
The murky international situation. One of the points missing in the speech was an official designation of the enemy. Despite the President's serene assurance that the terrorist attack was the work of Al Qaeda (also written Al Qaeda), Osama bin Laden's organization, there are suggestions of an Iraqi role [6,7], with hijackers having assumed the identities of persons they murdered . That second theory is not necessarily sounder than the first. The conspirators were obviously well trained. American intelligence was clearly caught flat-footed. Much of the information that has emerged is of dubious accuracy. For all we know for a certainty, the hijackers could have been the employees of angry Okinawans.
The source of the hijackers is still unclear. As noted in the previous installment, the reported behavior of some of the suspected hijackers was very un-Muslim, including drinking and carousing. Therefore, there is the suggestion that at least some of the hijackers may not have been Muslims at all. They were certainly well educated, capable of taking flight instruction in English. It has been suggested that pilots from the Iraqi air force, or pilots trained by the primitive Afghan air force could have qualified . As mentioned, it has been proposed that hijackers may have assumed the identities of murdered men. However, unless the hijackers were from approximately the same region as those whose identities they assumed, it is doubtful that they could have escaped suspicion from others in their community. Therefore, one can tentatively suppose that their national identities were indeed largely Saudi.
Although it is possible to hire terrorists from one region to pull jobs in another, the national identity of the hijackers could give a valuable clue as to the real motivation to the attack. Understanding the real motivation of the attack is essential (one would wish for an additional underline to alert the reader to the fact that this is a point that needs some thinking through) to designing countermeasures and to preventing the countermeasures that the terrorists could take. Some are convinced that the attack was triggered by anger on behalf of Palestinians. While possible, this is doubtful. Palestinians are distinct from other nations and indeed are oppressed by Arab neighbors no less than by Israelis. Nations with large numbers of Muslims include Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Of these, some are predominantly Sunni (the dominant sect, whose members tend to be wealthier), while others are predominantly Shia (the minority sect, which tends to be poor). Some have elected governments, while others are theocracies or monarchies. "Wahabism", a derogatory term applied to a particularly virulent strain of Muslim fundamentalism, is the sect of the Saudis and the Taliban. The United States has been careless in which regimes it supports. Are Kuwait and Saudi Arabia really more democratic and open than Libya or Algeria? Probably not, but they don't tolerate talk of social responsibility or public goods, which seems to be the real criterion the United States uses to differentiate friend from foe.
One open question is the role of oil in the events in Afghanistan. London Observer correspondent Gregory Palast has uncovered evidence that extractive industries are using warfare in Africa as a means of depopulating regions and attaching mineral resources on the cheap . The corporations supply the weapons to overthrow legally constituted governments. When the government is overthrown, the mines and oil deposits are turned over to the corporations as war booty. Clearly the Taliban was the creation of Pakistani intelligence and the American CIA; former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has affirmed this . Clearly, Afghanistan is important in the oil industry, since it would serve as a pipeline alternative to Iran for the tapping of Caspian oil and gas [9,10]. Indeed, a multi-billion dollar deal to bring a gas pipeline across Afghanistan was signed by Unocal [14, 15], but could not be consummated because of regional unrest. Afghanistan also has substantial oil (95 million barrels), natural gas (ca. 5 trillion cubic feet) and coal (400 million tons) reserves . Could the Taliban, conducting ruthless genocidal warfare against non-Pushtun tribes, represent an attempt to depopulate Afghanistan to make it safe for a pipeline?
The State Department has expressed concern over human rights in Saudi Arabia: "The Government's human rights record remained generally poor in a number of areas; however, its record showed limited improvement in some areas. Citizens have neither the right nor the legal means to change their government. Security forces continued to abuse detainees and prisoners, arbitrarily arrest and detain persons, and facilitate incommunicado detention; in addition there were allegations that security forces committed torture. Prolonged detention without charge is a problem. Security forces committed such abuses, in contradiction to the law, but with the acquiescence of the Government." 
The US is also quite friendly with Pakistan, whose intelligence service ISI participated with the Taliban in "raids that wiped out entire villages of different ethnic tribes...Intelligence sources said that the ISI-CIA collaboration in the 1980s assisted Osama bin Laden, as well as Mir Aimal Kansi, who assassinated two CIA officers outside their office in Langley, Virginia, in 1993, and Ramzi Yousef. Yousef and his accomplices were involved in the failed bomb attack on the World Trade Centre in New York five years later. The intelligence link-up also helped powerful international drug smugglers."  Pakistan is currently a military dictatorship, controlled by the ISI, and supports the activities of the Taliban.
Some sources are beginning to catch on to the very bad company the United States has drifted into. William Saletan wrote: "According to the U.S. State Department's latest Human Rights Report, [Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan] restrict freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, religion, and movement. Jordan is a monarchy propped up by security forces that have committed 'extrajudicial killings.' The Saudi royal family 'prohibits the establishment of political parties' and enforces 'a rigorously conservative form of Islam' through 'religious police.' Egyptians 'do not have a meaningful ability to change their Government.' Egyptian security forces 'arbitrarily arrest' and 'torture' people in the name of 'combating terrorism.' 
Time added, "To protect its access to oil, the U.S. supports repressive princes in the Persian Gulf states. In an effort to contain Islamic extremism, Washington backs the government of Algeria's President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, despite its ironfisted conduct in the civil war against the Armed Islamic Group. The authoritarian regime of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak also enjoys the patronage ($2.7 billion a year) of the U.S., which views him as a bulwark of moderation and stability in the region. Classmates in Egypt of one of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Mohamed Atta, told the New York Times he used to blast Mubarak for being an autocrat surrounded by 'fat cats.' 'We want to understand, are you Americans in favor of human rights and freedom? Or is that the privilege of some people and not others?' says Essam El Eryan, a leading member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood." 
In summary, simply because certain nations are "allies" is no guarantee that they are democratic or even anti-terrorist. The perception that American allies are harsh and repressive feeds the terrorist myth.
The Tangled Web: the Iran-Contra Connection. An interesting point that may shed some light on events is the fact that President Bush has assembled so many characters from the Iran-Contra scandal in his Administration. These include Eliot Abrams, John Negroponte, Otto Reich and Colin Powell. One might almost imagine that Bush needed experienced players for a reprise of the Reagan-sponsored terrorism and guns-and-drug-smuggling drama of Iran-Contra in Central Asia. Another point of connection with Iran-Contra is the fact that until the eleventh hour, the right wing regarded bin Laden as a valiant "freedom fighter", a term that was also applied to the Contras. As described, Ronald Reagan and George Bush armed and trained these "freedom fighters". Nor did covert aid in Afghanistan cease with the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan or the collapse of the Soviet Union. As recently as 1992, the CIA was providing $200 million per year, down from a peak of $700 million/year in 1988 . The inauguration of Clinton may have meant the cutoff of covert aid to the Taliban.
If one proceeds on the assumption that the Taliban and Osama bin Laden's soldiers represent a mutation on the Contras, a great deal of recent right-wing activity makes a kind of twisted sense. Osama bin Laden has been active in the former Balkans, in Africa (with the embassy bombings of Kenya and Tanzania) and of course in Afghanistan. In opposing Clinton, the right-wing has acted with the effect of protecting bin Laden. There are some genuinely striking statements on record, attacking Clinton for opposing bin Laden and Saddam Hussein:
"Instead of putting off the impeachment vote, the House should have voted to impeach him that very day. A President who uses his duties as Commander in Chief to bomb foreign countries every time he wants to change the subject ought to be removed with alacrity." -- Ann Coulter, Human Events, 12/25/98 [21a]
"And then there were the attacks known as the 'Wag the Dog' bombings. The first came in the August 1998 missile strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan, three days after Clinton's grand jury testimony and in the midst of a media firestorm over his televised non-apology for the Lewinsky affair... The second 'Wag the Dog' bombing occurred on the eve of the House impeachment debate when the president ordered air strikes on Iraq... The timing of Clinton's actions gave rise to suspicion that he was applying a chillingly literal version of Clausewitz's dictum that war is politics by other means." -- Gene Healy, 1/20-21/01, Cato Institute [21b]
"Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman today said that the impeachment of President Clinton is being all but guaranteed by the Administration's desperate actions to divert public attention from the impending action by the House of Representatives. Klayman cited both the 'Wag the Dog' strategy in Iraq and the last minute 'outing' of Speaker-elect Bob Livingston's sexual history as calculated attempts to stave off impeachment." -- Larry Klayman, Judicial Watch, 12/18/98 [21c]
"The very day after his acquittal, Clinton moved quickly to 'move on' from the subject of impeachment by announcing threats to bomb and to send U.S. ground troops into the civil war in Kosovo between Serbian authorities and ethnic Albanians fighting for independence. He scheduled Americans to be part of a NATO force under non-American command.... Second, by putting U.S. troops in Kosovo, Clinton is provoking terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals connected to Saudi renegade Osama bin Laden, who has declared a worldwide war on Americans... Even more dangerous, entering the Kosovo war may provoke terrorist retaliation within the United States." -- Phyllis Schlafly Report, 32(8), March, 1999 [21d]
"When Republican James Rogan appeared on Ray Briem's program (Los Angeles' KIEV) Saturday night, he offered no apologies for his stance in support of Bill Clinton's impeachment. 'I'd cast this vote a thousand times and lose a thousand elections,' Rogan said to Briem, noting the vote was the right thing to do. Asked by a caller if the USS Cole bombing might have been a 'wag the dog' scheme by Clinton to affect the elections, Rogan gave an interesting answer. He didn't say no. He said that he was still 'in the evidence-gathering stage' but that intelligence experts had raised 'real questions' about why the Cole was being refueled, why it was even in Yemen and why the bombing took place at that time. Rogan may not be so gullible because many Republicans remember that on the eve of the 1998 impeachment vote, Bill Clinton engaged in an apparent 'wag the dog' by bombing Iraq to stave off the impeachment vote." -- Carl Limbacher, NewsMax [21e]
"Clinton and his leftist buddies in NATO are squandering our money and our military credibility in the Balkans.... Some of the Clinton deployments have been of the "wag-the-dog" type in Afghanistan and the Sudan." -- David Horowitz, Salon, 9/10/99 [21f]
Horowitz went on to equate communists with people who protested against war or backed a freeze to nuclear buildup-and of course put Clinton into this broadband smear. But this is all fantasy, and as the terrorists showed on 9/11, fantasy is punctured by reality. Faced with Congressional meddling, cutbacks in funding for the Balkan operation, and denials of authority to fight terrorism, the incessant political attack on Clinton delayed the stabilization of the Balkans -- giving bin Laden considerable freedom of movement -- and drastically limited Clinton's options in military responses to confront Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. In justifying suppression of dissent, the right-wing very frequently argues that dissent strengthens America's enemies. Yet what went on in recent Congresses was not dissent, but outright sedition. The Congressional attacks may indeed have encouraged terrorists to believe that the American government was so divided that it could not raise an effective response to terrorism. As David Horowitz lacerates himself for having supported the Black Panthers long ago, perhaps he could spare a moment for having given aid and comfort to Osama bin Laden much more recently.
I had hoped, in vain, that we could by this point outright dismiss the possibility that this was part of a plan. One key clue that the terrorist attack may have been planned inside the American governing class has been proven false: the White House is now known to have been mistaken in claiming that the terrorists had secret American codes and telephone numbers [see footnote 2]. Also, a preliminary look of the stock market does not show suspicious stock movements in key industries, as might be expected if a cabal acted with greedy foreknowledge. On the other hand, it has been reported that a brother of Osama bin Laden was a major investor in George Bush's Arbusto Oil company . The White House has denied it, in an unsourced (i.e., deniable) manner. Furthermore, reports that the US government, and George Bush himself, received and dismissed numerous warnings of a terrorist attack have been confirmed and amplified. So, the circumstantial evidence is mixed.
Conclusion. We have the following elements of the terrorist attacks and their aftermath that seem to be reasonably reliable:
- Saddam Hussein was tolerated and to some degree funded by the US from 1981 until the Gulf War
- The trigger event for the Gulf War, the invasion of Kuwait, may have been influenced by Bush appointee April Glaspie's tepid opposition
- The terrorist armies of Afghanistan were funded and trained by the US and/or its ally, Pakistan from about 1979 until at least 1992
- Saddam Hussein was left in place after the Gulf War as a deliberate element of Bush policy
- The election of Bill Clinton may have eliminated covert aid to Afghanistan
- Corporations have taken to using warfare to clear land for extractive mining and petroleum operations
- Right-wingers conducted a campaign of harassment against Clinton that had the effect of strengthening the terrorists of Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans
- Predominantly Republican congressmen were the recipients of contributions from the airline industry
- The resources of the FBI and Justice Department were largely misdirected from 1992-2001 in a politically motivated attempt to get Clinton
- Congress refused to implement regulations that would have made the success of this particular terror plot much more chancy
- George W. Bush restored to power Iran-Contra malefactors such as Negroponte, Reich and Abrams
- The US Government, including George W. Bush, received and ignored copious warnings -- from Mossad, French Intelligence and fromer Senators Hart and Rudman -- regarding hijacking airliners
- Most of the hijackers were probably from U.S. allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and arrived legally; some of the allegedly "Muslim" extremists behaved in an un-Muslim manner.
- In the wake of the attack, a number of Democrats have withdrawn from running for political office 
- Reporting of results of the Florida recount has been put off on the pretext because this would "may undercut the legitimacy of the commander in chief"
- Dissent has been muted, perhaps silenced
There is certainly no smoking gun to suggest that members of the American governing class knew about the plot in advance. However, from the answer to the question, "Cui bono?" (i.e., who benefits?), one gets a whiff of black powder. There was at the least massive incompetence in our government and in intelligence agencies. The circumstantial evidence says that right-wingers built up and supported, from both within and outside the government, conditions that promoted extremism and terrorism. And now the power of their president has been greatly enhanced by the terror attack. Circumspection and skepticism are in order, particularly as they relate to the erosion of Constitutional liberties.
It is not inconceivable that a corporation with a stake in the oil-producing parts of Asia may have seen an opportunity to gain a major strategic advantage from warfare between the Muslim and Western nations. One might add that the line between corporations and the Bush government is increasingly faint. Or perhaps right-wing opposition to Clinton was in part funded by corporations that did not wish an effective American response to terrorism. A rival of Unocal would have gained from a continuation of war in Afghanistan. A number of journalists have suggested that the terror attack represented "blowback", the unwanted domestic consequence of prior foreign covert actions. The most interesting point to watch may well be the Saudi (and Egyptian) connections of this plot, since an attack based from the soil of allies seems at odds with the official story of Muslim extremists. Also, we must learn why Bush hired so many figures from Iran-Contra. We must learn precisely how close the Bush-bin Laden family ties are . Until the web of Bush deceit is untangled, it is impossible to trust his motives for the rest.
Fortunately, Bush (or at least his coterie of advisors) has not proven to be quite the fool that bin Laden apparently took him to be. Military operations are being planned with deliberation, not conducted in heat. With careful planning, the chances of a widespread Muslim backlash are diminishing. If bin Laden is captured and tried, or killed by Special Forces in small-scale combat, it will be hard for his followers to beatify him or take his demise as an affront to Islam. Still, due deliberation is the minimum we should expect from a president. Martial rhetoric is cheap, violence is easy, but who among them can raise the dead?
1. The right-wing has evidently been deeply stung by evidence that Bush created and armed the Taliban. They argue that the $43 million (or $124 million as of 5/01) is humanitarian aid, and indeed it was earmarked for wheat and "complementary food commodities", vaccines, water and sanitation and other civilian items (http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/usandun/01051701.htm). Those who remember the Contra aid program will, however, remember that so-called humanitarian aid can be used in a manner that strongly advantages one side in a conflict. According to James Ridgeway of the Village Voice (5/20-26/01; http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0125/ridgeway.php), the Bush Administration declined to support the anti-Taliban of the northern alliance because it armed itself using money from narcotics. The UN has recognized the northern alliance, placing the United States in the position of supporting a rogue regime. The Taliban agreed to destroy poppies in exchange for US aid; the $43 million appears to have been quid pro quo. And, were the Bush Administration sincere in renouncing its ties to terrorists and totalitarians, it would be more persuasive were it not making new alliances to monsters that the former Administration cut ties with (http://www.smh.com.au/news/0109/25/world/world11.html).
2. A number of stories embarrassing to the Administration have simply vanished from websites. CBS, for example, reported that "Top government officials have suggested that American Airlines Flight 77 was originally headed for the White House and possibly circled the Capitol building. CBS News Transportation Correspondent Bob Orr reports that's not what the recorded flight path shows....'That is not the radar data that we have seen,' Fleischer said, adding, 'The plane was headed toward the White House' " (http://www.cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,310721-412,00.shtml) and "There seems to be an answer to how someone, presumed to be a terrorist, was able to call in a threat against Air Force One using a secret code name for the president's plane on the day of the attacks. As it turns out, that simply never happened. Sources say White House staffers apparently misunderstood comments made by their security detail" (http://www.cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,311414-412,00.shtml). MSNBC reported that "But while Ashcroft's testimony was open to television cameras, the committee's Republican staff ordered camera crews to leave, including those of C-SPAN, the public interest network available on cable television systems nationwide, NBC News' Mike Viqueira reported. Print reporters and members of the general public were allowed to remain, meaning the speakers' comments could be reported, but none of them would be available for Americans to see or hear for themselves. House rules state, 'Whenever a hearing or meeting conducted by a committee or subcommittee is open to the public, those proceedings shall be open to coverage by audio and visual means,' Viqueira reported" (http://msnbc.com/news/632335.asp?cp1=1). These admissions simply vanished from the web sites. The White House reprimanded Bill Maher for calling the sort of remote control warfare that the United States engages in cowardly, and White House spokesman Ari Fleischer added ""It's a terrible thing to say, and it's unfortunate," Fleischer said. "There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that; there never is" (http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-fleischer-maher0926sep26.story?coll=sns%2Dap%2Dnation%2Dheadlines). To illustrate the Orwellian virtues of silence, the White House then expunged Fleischer's veiled threat from the official record (http://www.poynter.org/medianews/; NY Times, 9/28/01, B. Carter and F. Barringer, http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/28/business/media/28TUBE.html). An NPR station interrupted and suppressed an interview with Robert Fisk in which he had tried to paint the terrorists as human (LA Weekly, 9/27/01, J. Powers, http://www.laweekly.com/ink/01/44/on-powers.shtml). A newspaper columnist was fired for saying that Bush "skedaddled" after the attack and "hiding in a Nebraska hole" (AP, 9/27, http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20010926_1564.html). In addition to these matters, basic information about the movement of troops and equipment has been scarce in the United States, though available over the Internet. As has been commented many times in the past, if American bombers are wreaking havoc on the enemy, it is no secret to them, but the American people are often prevented from knowing even what the enemy know.
3. The movement of markets is commonly used in a propagandistic way by television commentators and it is not my intent to copy them. The market drop following the speech was not large (about 300 off the Dow at its maximum point and less by day's end), and it was followed the next Monday by a rally and a week of gains. One could argue that the sell-off would have been worse but for the speech. However, the rhetoric from the Wall Street Journal's editorial pages and other right-wing sources is so intensely cynical that one can hardly believe that there are many financiers willing to lose money for the sake of the nation. Also, market moves have been peculiar, with steep sell-offs, spikes and openings sharply above or below the previous day's closings. Spikes and openings sharply above the previous day's closing may suggest manipulation to support the market. Manipulation, especially collusion to generate buy orders simultaneously, is a traditional function of presidents. Considering the compounding of risks to the economy through futures trading, it would be surprising if some steps were not being taken to stabilize the markets.
4. The cynicism of the right in using the terrorist incident to further its culture wars agenda is so pronounced that it deserves an article of its own. For now, let us be content to document some of the classics. National Review claimed that it was militias that resisted the takeover of Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania (R.E. Barnett, 9/18/01, http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-barnett091801.shtml). Oliver North has taken the occasion to accuse American journalists of protecting Osama bin Laden (Newsmax, 9/21/01, http://newsmax.com/showinsidecover.shtml?a=2001/9/21/210131). Rev. Fred Phelps has joined Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in describing the terrorist attack as God's disapproval for homosexuality (PitchWeekly, 9/20/01, http://www.pitch.com/issues/2001-09-20/strip.html). Phelps added, in case the statement required clarification, that "God was 'laughing and mocking' as thousands were crushed and burned at the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon. 'Every last one of them was going straight to hell.'" Phelps also stated he would picket the funeral of David Charlebois, a pilot killed in the crash at the Pentagon, because Charlebois was gay. Charlebois, Phelps said, was the "filthy face of fag evil" (http://www.hatewatch.org/article.php?sid=850). To show what a free nation we are, FOX News ordered its reporters to broadcast messages of support for President Bush's plans (Tampa Tribune, 9/23/01, W. March, http://www.tampatrib.com/MGAZKCIAYRC.html). The Concerned Women for America accused Democrats of using the aftermath of the terrorist attack to push through a gay rights agenda (US Newswire, 9/21/01). Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that Peter Jennings, "this fine son of Canada", had uttered "insulting comments toward President Bush", that "Little Peter couldn't understand why George Bush didn't address the nation sooner than he did, and even made snide comments... This [was a prime example of] foolish, whining, babyish, unrealistic selfishness on the part of liberals." (http://www.tvspy.com/shoptalk.cfm?page=1). This particular Limbaugh lie was so atrocious that he was forced to retract it. Writing in the Washington Post of 9/26, Michael Kelly reached new heights of propaganda by claiming with a straight face, "The American pacifists...are objectively pro-terrorist." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26290-2001Sep26.html). One might as well claim with a straight face that wealthy people are objectively in favor of starving people to death, since they have the means to stop starvation and don't.
1. New York Times, 9/27/01, W. Safire, www.nytimes.com/2001/09/27/opinion/27SAFI.html
2. Wall Street Journal, 9/28/01, P. Noonan, http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=95001236
3. Washington Post, 9/22/01, J. F. Harris and D. Milbank, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6749-2001Sep21.html
4. Observer (London), accessed 9/20/01, N. von Hoffman, www.observer.com/pages/observer.asp
5. New York Times, 11/21/01, C.J. Chivers, www.nytimes.com/2001/09/21/nyregion/21TOMB.html
6. Salon, 9/20/01, D. Neiwert,
7. The New Republic, 9/13/01, R.J. Woolsey, www.tnr.com/092401/woolsey092401.html
8. (London) Times, 9/22/01, D. McGrory, www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,2001320012-2001330486,00.html
7. See, for example, Hon. Cynthia McKinney, Committee on International Relations, 4/16/01, www.truthout.com/0180.McKinney.Africa.htm.
8. Slate, 9/22/01, B. Bhutto, slate.msn.com/code/ThisJustIn/ThisJustIn.asp?Show=9/21/2001&idMessage=8335
9. In These Times, 10/15/01, W. Madsen, www.inthesetimes.com/web2523/madsen2523.html
10. Hon. Cynthia McKinney, Committee on International Relations, 4/16/01, http://www.truthout.com/0180.McKinney.Africa.htm
11. In These Times, 10/15/01, W. Madsen, www.inthesetimes.com/web2523/madsen2523.html
12. Pacific News Service, 8/24/98, W. O. Beeman, www.pacificnews.org/jinn/stories/4.17/980824-afghanistan.html
13. Pacific News Service, 10/15/97, T. Goltz, www.pacificnews.org/jinn/stories/3.21/971015-oil.html
14. DOE Fact Sheet, www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/afghan.html
15. Atlantic Monthly, 1/10/98, J. Beatty, www.theatlantic.com/unbound/polipro/pp9806.htm
16. Saudi Arabia, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2000 , State Department www.state.gov-g-drl-rls-hrrpt-2000-nea-index.cfmQUESTIONdocid=817.htm
17. Telegraph (London), 9/26/01, R. Bedi, http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/09/26/wdrug26.xml
18. Slate, 9/26/01, W. Saletan, http://slate.msn.com/framegame/entries/01-09-26_116247.asp
19. Time, 158(15), 10/1/01, L. Beyer, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101011001-175979,00.html
20. Federation of American Sciences, http://www.fas.org-irp-cia-ciabud.htm
21a. Howard Phillips, http://www.conservativeusa.orf.htm
21b. Gene Healy, http://www.Cato.org
21c. Larry Klayman, http://www.JuducialWatch.org
21d. Phyllis Schlafly, http://www.eagleforum.org
21e. Carl Limbacher, NewsMax, 10/29/00, www.newsmax.com/showinsidecover.shtml?a=2000/10/29/125607, cited at http://www.freerepublic.com/-forum/a39fd235e02d5.htm
21f. Salon, 9/10/99, D. Horowitz, http://www.salon.com/news/col/horo/1999/05/10/nato/
22. India Times, 9/25/01, R.Z. Ahmed, http://news.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1197180992
23. New York Times, 9/27/01, R.L. Berke, http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/27/national/27CAMP.html
24. Inside, 9/26/01, S. Mnookin, www.inside.com/product/product.asp?entity=localhost&pf_ID=875BEE02-1B64-4435-A4B1-4FEEB24A2A2B
25. Wall Street Journal, 9/27/01, D. Golden, J. Bandler and M. Walker